Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thoughts on the Hightower Trade

(Been real busy at work this week, hopefully more posts as the week continues!!)

(Another solid pickup for Shanahan and Co.?)
In the year plus that Mike Shanahan has been with the Redskins, he's only made 1-2 earth shattering trades with other teams.... and that is probably a good thing. One was for Donovan McNabb, which we all have to admit was a complete and utter failure unfortunately. The second you could consider is the trade for Jammal Brown. The verdict is still out on that move. Yes, the Skins got a starting right tackle who they just signed for another five years. The major concern is whether or not Brown can remain healthy. If he is healthy, then the Skins can have bookend tackles with Brown and Williams for at least the next five years.

What has been more notable is the smaller trades that the Redskins have made over his tenure. These moves don't get a great deal of accolades for Mike Shanahan or GM Bruce Allen, but they are turning out to be much more significant. Two examples are of Adam Carriker and John Beck. Carriker was a former 1st rounder of the Rams that never seemed to fit as a DT in their scheme. Along with injuries Carriker was trending towards the "BUST" label. The Skins trade for him in exchange for 20+ spots in the draft. That's right, Carriker was traded not for an actual pick or player per se but for the Rams to move up 20+ spots in the later rounds of the draft. For that, the Redskins get a starting LDE for 2010 and possibly beyond (at worst Carriker will see a great deal of snaps as the Skins plan to rotate many D-linemen in their scheme). John Beck is in a similar situation. The Skins trade him to Baltimore for DB, Doug Dutch. Dutch wasn't even going to make the final 53 man roster. Instead, the Skins get a journeyman veteran to be the #3 QB and that they may be able to develop. Well, you know the story by now. Beck may be the starter for the Redskins at some point this season.

The Hightower trade is very similar to Beck and Carriker. Hightower may compete with Ryan Torain and rookie Roy Helu for the starting job but at worst I think he becomes the Skins 3rd down back. Hightower is known to be a good pass blocker, can catch passes and is quick (helpful for those occasional 3rd down draw plays or shovel passes that catch defenses off guard). The price also wasn't much for a young player with a reasonable amount of talent. My guess is that the conditional draft pick the Cardinals will receive is a 6th round pick. Possibly the higher of either the Skins or Vikings picks based on what Hightower does this season. Giving away Vonnie Holiday was a good move as well. Holiday had a great 2010 but with the Redskins trying to get younger it only makes sense to make the move. Also, with the drafting of Jenkins and signings of Cofield and Bowen, Holiday at best would be the Skins 4th best DE.

This will be another trade that won't be talked about much in league circles (NFL fans would rather talk about the Haynesworth and McNabb trades and how terrible are the Redskins) but this trade could be rather significant as the season progresses. Keep an eye on Tim Hightower.  He could have a very productive 2011.

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